Studio Contrechoc

design & textile & technology entries

Monthly Archives: June 2011

The Modern Astronomer Vest

A vest of felt, a vest about space. This Space is presented as a folded patchwork of hand made felt. Space can be as curved as your imagination. Space can even be as jumpy as your imagination. We can get lost in imagination just as we can get lost in a curved multidimensional space. In space field lines never meet. These lines are as lonely as a human being in the middle of a crowd. (So this could be a Diogenes vest for that matter, but the Diogenes theme is… for another vest!).

party shirt

The hand made felt is folded which gives  a richly textured surface and on this surface there are small lights. These LED’s are individually coded and form a varied display of patterns.

The LED’s on the back represent the filament of space, visible in the now famous microwave background radiation, the echo of the Big Bang. The filaments of matter, and for the rest empty space, space is like a sponge!

On the shoulders there are LED shapes representing colliding galaxies. Some friends asked why these galaxies are colliding but still not moving, the answer is simple: a collision of galaxies takes several 100 millions of years…the slowest dance of the universe…

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On the front is the infinity sign made up of green square LED’s. Infinity is everywhere and nowhere but that is maths! Signs is what we are waiting for, sign’s of other life. Is life there somewhere close? Hopefully not! These aliens will be without doubt more intelligent than we are and we are likely to be harvested like the sheep for the felt…

party shirt

Then this vest is interactive, it listens, it observes – for “modulated” radiation. It could be the light of pulsars, those mad stars spinning incredible fast. But no, not pulsars, indeed the observational powers of this vest are of another nature. Modulated emissions by humans it is waiting for, in the infrared, in the radio waves and in the visible light.

If the vest receives some of these signs of life, the vest will react. Visibly but also in radio waves…try to receive these waves!

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The only classical feature of astronomy retained in the vest is a clock! But the clock is ticking a bit strange, more concentrated on interesting time properties than showing time as humans seem to appreciate it. This is also modern astronomy; time has disappeared in space structures about 100 years ago.  In the patch theory time events can easily be reversed, humanized order seems to be lacking.

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Is the universe as exciting as this vest? Strange enough, no! 🙂 Mathematical space (differential manifolds) can be a complex  and funny as you want, real space is rather “flat”. This seems to be the result of faster than light speed expansion in the early microseconds of the universe which is called “inflation”. Of course this dullness is compensated nowadays by an unknown effect causing accelerated expansion of the universe.

(Potential extraterrestrial buyers are advised to contact the vest at 914MHz or the infrared.)

Design, felting & technology: Contrechoc